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In an Evolving Post-PC World, Gizmox Helps Enterprises Optimize Their Apps for Mobile and HTML 5

IT Professionals deal with a variety of issues as the pace of change in the enterprise IT world is changing at perhaps's it's fastest pace ever. From cybersecurity to Cloud computing, IT departments are facing a number of challenges at once.

IT Professionals deal with a variety of issues as the pace of change in the enterprise IT world is changing at perhaps's it's fastest pace ever. From cybersecurity to Cloud computing, IT departments are facing a number of challenges at once. One issue enterprises of all sizes are dealing with is the move to the mobile world. From both a customer facing perspective as well as internally due to the BYOD trend and the increasing number of employees who work remotely, the move to mobility is a huge issue for IT Professionals. As smartphones and tablets become ubiquitous, both customers and internal employees expect a company's applications to be optimized for mobile as well. 

From an IT perspective, this means that legacy code needs to be converted to HTML 5, which is the de-facto format for mobile; and likewise, the development of new applications also need to be coded in HTML 5. There are a number of concerns for IT Professionals in making the move to HTML 5, and large enterprises in particular need to figure out how to execute the switch from the existing legacy coding without interfering with the company's ongoing business.

In this regard, we are pleased to introduce Gixmox, an innovative startup that is specifically dedicated to assisting enterprise developers and their IT departments handle the transition to HTML 5. Gizmox's products are specifically targeted to make this transition as painless as possible for IT departments. In this regard, we are pleased to be joined today by Gixmox's Marketing Manager Moran Shayovitch who will provide an overview of what Gizmox can provide to assist enterprises in the new world of HTML 5.

IT Specialist: Moran, thank you for joining us today. To start with, can you provide some background on Gizmox, and what problems - or "pain points" as it were - you are dedicating to assisting enterprises to solve?

Moran: The inspiration was the noticing how much more manual, difficult and error-prone developing web application was when compared to building .Net or other Microsoft applications. The founders set out to solve this problem, first with VisualWebGui which made rich web applications as easy to develop as VB or WinForms, and later with CloudMove, for taking already existing applications to new platforms such as HTML5 and mobile. Today, Gizmox is the premier enterprise HTML5 platform company that caters to the unique needs of companies that want to build or move their business apps to be modern, mobile and flexible.

IT Specialist: Gizmox, as I understand your company, allows enterprises to adapt their applications to the mobile and tablet world. From the perspectives of software development and end-user experience, what is it that is so different about the mobile world versus the traditional desktop/client-server paradigm? In particular, could you explain at a high level what HTML5 is and what exactly is there about it that makes HTML5 the de-facto cross platform for the mobile world? 

Moran: The migration of client-server applications into the new post-PC era has become the first priority for many enterprises and ISVs. As mobile and cloud transition is happening quickly , businesses are seeking to transition to this technology to meet new business demands, leverage the efficiency these new technologies have to offer and upgrade IT software assets. Leading this transition is HTML5 which is widely regarded as the best standard for cross platform mobile applications as it is an attempt to define a single markup language that can be written in either HTML or XHTML syntax. On a high level, HTML5 introduces a paradigm that finally completes the move away from the old limitations of HTML. The language provides a strong working set of tools and effects, allowing the creation of native-quality user interfaces comparable to those produced using iOS, Windows, or Adobe Flash.

Enabled by HTML5 as the markup language, the Post-PC era  brings economic advantages compared to the traditional desktop/client-server paradigm. These benefits include mobile access, lower TCO (total cost of ownership) of software systems, lower risks of operational failures, simpler local infrastructures (i.e. outsourced cloud computing services compared to in-house server management), modern user interfaces, increased centralization, reduced costs and grater user adoption. Take for example BYOD (bring your own device), where employees use their own devices for corporate work and need access to both network resources and data. IT does not usually control the device and often does not even mandate the type of mobile device, so HTML5’s ability to make high-quality cross-platform mobile applications is really important. 

IT Specialist: Moran, could you provide an overview of Gizmox's products. At a high level, your technology essentially enables enterprises to 1) move legacy code to HTML5; and 2) leverage an organization's existing development tools to build applications based on HTML5 from the ground up - is that correct? 

Moran:  Gizmox’s growth is driven by the massive platform shift of the “post-PC world”, where companies are rapidly moving their mission-critical business applications from PC’s and client-server to tablets and smart-phones. Gizmox offers 2 products: the Visual WebGUI platform for developing new enterprise mobile applications and Instant CloudMove for modernizing legacy applications while removing technical complexities and network limitations. 

VisualWebGUI is not “yet another AJAX framework”, it is a comprehensive platform which includes design-time and runtime technologies that improve the developer’s experience, the end-user’s experience and ultimately the business value of the delivered applications. Visual WebGui is coded using standard .NET languages (C#.NET/VB.NET) and utilizes the productive proven Windows Forms development paradigm to develop generic ASP.NET based Web/Cloud applications including a WYSIWYG forms designer. Hence, the platform does not require any specialized knowledge of mobile application development, new programming languages or confusing frameworks, and therefore does not require re-training or replacement of existing development teams.

Meanwhile, Instant CloudMove is the only product of its kind that offers transposition of LoB client-server applications to new hosting environments such as cloud (private or public), with new HTML5 front-ends securely accessible from any mobile device. This unique paradigm revolutionizes existing applications' upgrade, reengineering and rewrite by combining concepts from migration, rewrite and virtualization into a single solution. New computing paradigms like cloud computing and mobility require hardened security for business-class applications. Gizmox HTML5 is optimized for enterprise level usages as it allows a secured-by-design accessibility from any device and platform. This means that transposed applications can be safely used with sensitive corporate data which requires robust security and privacy protections.

To sum up, the Gizmox platform provides enterprises with tools to create rich, responsive web applications in a fast and familiar development environment and to deploy them with unrivaled performance, functionality and security. Furthermore, the resulting native-quality user interfaces are based on open web standards and HTML5, with the same code base supporting mobile, web and cloud platforms.

IT Specialist: Could you go into more detail on your solutions? Let's start with your Gizmox's "Instant CloudMove" product. Could you take our readers through the steps - one, two, three - of how Instant CloudMove actually works to convert legacy code to HTML5? How and why is a Cloud solution used for this transition, how long does it take and what is the ultimate end-result?

Moran:  Instant CloudMove is a fast, efficient and complete solution that enables you to quickly move your existing complex business client-server applications to new hosting environments (e.g. cloud) and to extend to new front ends such as HTML5 web or mobile. The resulting HTML5 solution is visually appealing and secure-by-design, built from the ground up to protect sensitive data. Without CloudMove, companies are forced to choose between using pixel-level remoting or rewriting their business applications from scratch. Remoting (such as VDI or app virtualization) presents the same old screen, pixel-by-pixel, on a mobile device. The user experience is usually terrible, with no adaptation to the mobile form factor, and there is no support for new capabilities. The application still has to be maintained in legacy mode and executed on obsolete platforms, with a lot of recurring costs and risks.

Rewriting the application from scratch in new programming languages and frameworks is the other choice. It allows the user interfaces to be updated, provides mobile features and the resulting source code is much more maintainable. However, rewriting a large business application - that has been developed over the course of many years and contains critical business processes and thousands of long-forgotten bug fixes - is very time-consuming, risky and expensive. It is easy to see that neither remoting nor rewrite are good options for businesses with hundreds or thousands of mission-critical applications.

Gizmox’s CloudMove solution gives customers a third choice that delivers (1) faster time-to-market (2) a maintainable code base in a modern programming language (3) support for the latest mobile technologies (4) both lower risk and lower cost. It goes far beyond the technical conversion of code from one version to another, rather it analyzes the source app, runs it through a series of patent-pending compiler algorithms to identify flow and dependencies, and makes a series of transpositions of the resulting  AST based on the desired target. It identifies the gaps to be bridged, and then employs out-of-the-box syntax translation and mapping of API’s to new ones, native to the target environment. All the original business logic and UI are extracted from the source environment and automatically transposed to the new environment. The true beauty of the tool is that it provides you with the flexibility to customize, upgrade and add pieces of code, effectively upgrading the app and its user interface in the process. For example, using simple drag and drop actions, you can redesign legacy user interfaces to have mobile-specific frontends with touch user experience or off-line operation. Instant CloudMove achieves the same goal as a rewrite but without the uncertainties and in a fraction of the time and cost.

IT Specialist: Now let's turn our attention to Gizmox's second major solution, which allows developers to build new applications from the beginning in HTML 5. Can you provide an overview of your product suite in this area and how they work for enterprise IT developers?

Moran: VWG Web & Mobile  platform allows Microsoft developers to write web & mobile applications for any client OS or HTML5 browser, enabling the most productive, secure and responsive desktop-like RIAs (Rich Internet Applications), -- all while leveraging existing .NET skills. Visual WebGui is purely based on the standard ASP.NET technology including its base objects (Server, Session, Application, Request and Response). It is deployed on standard IIS and the code is parsed by the standard .NET CLR. It is the perfect solution for enterprise IT developers looking to shift their applications and their personal skills to mobile and tablets as the platform does not require any specialized knowledge of mobile application development, new programming languages or confusing frameworks, and therefore does not require re-training or replacement of existing development teams. 

IT Specialist: BYOD is of course a huge issue for IT departments these days. It's easy to see why employees who may frequently work from smartphones or tablets would be frustrated trying to use their business applications if they are built on legacy code. To what extent are Gizmox's products designed to provide an IT department the infrastructure to transition employees to BYOD?

Moran: Although frameworks like VB6 and operating systems like Windows XP are now being retired, many corporate systems rely on them to function. In many larger companies, there are thousands of custom applications in the PC era, providing logistics, operational, financial and other mission-critical services  required to run the business. Most of these are client/server applications written in Power Builder, Visual Basic or .NET. In order to transition employees to BYOD, an organization must shift to modern platforms that support post-PC deployment (such as smart devices) and are based on open-web standards. 

Gizmox products do exactly that : enabling knowledge workers to be productive using their own mobile devices, at the office or on the road. Instant CloudMove enables IT to reduce costs by upgrading VB6, .NET, ASP classic or Power Builder applications to web, cloud and mobile deployments and enhance business results by allowing everywhere every-device access to core business apps. This provides ubiquity and secure cross-platform accessibility via any HTML5 capable browser.

Visual Webgui allows developers to leverage existing .NET skills within Visual Studio for building HTML5 mobile applications for iOS, Android and other platforms. The mobile framework utilizes all the advantages that are provided by the existing VWG web products, while providing a native-quality mobile user experience. In addition, the Gizmox platform doesn't expose or hold any data on the mobile device, doesn’t consume much processing resources and provides cross-platform accessibility. These qualities of VisualWebGui make it optimal for enterprises and a great fit for executing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

IT Specialist: It seems like consumer developers have long ago adopted HMTL5 as their primary platform. What in your view makes it so much more challenging for enterprises, however, to make this transition?

Moran:  Enterprises have very different requirements for HTML5 mobile platforms, and all of the existing products have been designed to built consumer-facing applications. This is why you see debates about whether Facebook should build their mobile app as a native app or an HTML5 app, or whether HTML5 can be used to develop the next version of Angry Birds. Obviously, this is not the kind of application that corporate customers need to build. They have completely different needs: for user interfaces, it is rich, complex controls to display and edit corporate data, instead of just a few fields or animations; for security, it is keeping sensitive data off the mobile device and integrating with enterprise security systems, as opposed to simple self-registration of users; for development tools, it is being able to leverage existing Microsoft developers, instead of trying to hire hundreds of recent grads in Silicon Valley. There are many others - the point is that until Gizmox, business application owners have not had any HTML5 vendors focused on addressing their requirements, which are very different than those for building simple consumer-facing interfcaces.

IT Specialist: Since a large number of readers are enterprise IT professionals, can you summarize the top value proposition(s) for enterprise IT Pros? What pain points are you assisting them to solve?

Moran: The highest barrier in extending existing complex client-server applications to post PC deployment is the huge investment and long time that would be required to rewrite them. This barrier stems from the need to bridge the un- bridgeable architectural gap between client-server and cloud, web and mobile platforms.  An additional barrier is the increasing demand for BYOD and the security risks it brings - if not handled correctly, it can result in copying of sensitive data and application business logic out from behind the firewall and onto the user’s unmanaged, insecure device. Gizmox is the first to solve what might be one the most painful IT problems:  rapid mobile- and cloud- enablement of fully scalable, enterprise client-server applications with native-quality user experience, delivered via a standard browser and secure-by-design.

IT Specialist: Turning our attention to the business side of Gizmox, how has your technology been received in the market overall? Are there any particular customers you might like to share with us? From what I have read, you also have a partnership with Microsoft via their Azure Cloud division, is that correct?

Moran: I will let the numbers speak for themselves. Gizmox has experienced over 1,250,000 downloads of its software, and 40,000 Visual WebGui web applications are already in production. Among our customers already using our technology are leading world renowned companies in the telecom, finance, Hi-tech and military sectors including Swisscom, Avaya, Ericsson, Visa, IBM, SAP, US Navy and IAI.

IT Specialist: Gizmox recently raised $7.5 million. How much total capital have you raised and who are your core investors?

Moran: Correct, Gizmox succeeded in raising a generous amount of $7.5 million. This round of investment was led by Atlas Venture. Gizmox existing investors include Citrix, Consolidated Investment Group, Maayan Ventures and prominent individual investors. This major funding is a clear expression of confidence in Gizmox technological and market potential. 

IT Specialist: Going forward, are there any particular initiatives we should keep an eye out for with Gizmox, either on the business or technology side? 

Moran: Gizmox is constantly improving its product offering and adding innovative features to its selections. We suggest that you sign up for Gizmox monthly newsletter to receive updates on the latest news and events we have to offer Sign up here

IT Specialist: Finally, for customers who may wish to interact with Gizmox or trial your technology, what is the best way for people to contact and interface with you?

Moran: Gizmox offers a free assessment of your application using the Instant CloudMove Assessment Wizard which performs an in-depth analysis of desktop client/server applications and provides an immediate report that specifies the efforts and costs that would be needed in order to move the application to the latest HTML5 technology.

It should be noted that Instant CloudMove is the only such assessment available anywhere for the migration of applications from one architecture to another. The benefit of being able to eliminate surprises and minimize risk in a project of such complexity cannot be overemphasized. After the estimates and project guidelines have been received from the automatic assessment, the application owner can proceed with the transposition process through to completion with a selection of services that best suits his needs either In-House, as a turn-key or through one of Gizmox SI partners.

For Visual WebGui, used to build new HTML5 mobile and web applications, there is a free evaluation download -- you can evaluate for free the latest version 7.0 until July 31st. Version 7 is a major release which includes greatly expanded mobile support, mobile device integration, off-line operation and many other essential features. Download now and starting testing

IT Specialist: Thank you for joining us today Moran. It sounds like Gizmox has found a great niche in the B2B world, and best of luck going forward.

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